Every gift made to Homeboy Industries assists and helps to
provide hope for an individual seeking a second chance.
Tribute & Memorial gifts are an excellent way to remember a
loved one or to celebrate a special occasion in someone’s life.
Your gift will make a positive impact in the lives of many
formerly gang involved.
"Nothing here weighs less than 50 pounds,” observes Miguel Avila. “Everything has to be moved by crane.” The Homeboy Industries graduate is on the campus of Weber Metals, where he is enrolled in an apprenticeship program. He’s wearing futuristic-looking coveralls to protect him from fiberglass insulation inside a giant oven.
Two years ago, Miguel and his girlfriend made a decision to change when they lost custody of their newborn daughter. After taking parenting classes at Homeboy, Miguel joined the organization’s paid 18-month program. He set four goals: to get his daughter back, work on his education, pay down his traffic tickets, and get training that could help him earn a real living.
“I’d had jobs before, but none where I really chose to come to work,” he says. “I had no skills, no high school diploma. I’d be there a couple of months and then get fired or walk out.”
At Homeboy, Miguel took classes, focused on his sobriety, participated in therapy, and earned a welding certificate. Toward the end of his 18 months, he attended a job fair at Cerritos College, a Homeboy educational partner. He struck up a conversation with a woman who turned out to be the head of HR for Weber Metals.
The confidence he developed at Homeboy is now helping him navigate a physically and academically rigorous apprenticeship: “If I put in a little effort, I can do it. They drill that into you at Homeboy Industries. I don’t want to let G [Father Greg] and Homeboy down, but most of all, I don’t want to let myself down.”
Miguel’s dreams have kept pace with his personal growth. Now his goals include advancing at Weber and going to college. His family is thriving too. “My daughter is almost two, and she sings me to sleep,” he says, imitating a few bars of her lullaby.
“Homeboy gave me what I have today,” he says.